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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Where's Elizabeth?

The Warren campaign has finally found a way off the Herald's front page. It's called good news.

Word of a Suffolk University/7 News poll showing Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown in a virtual dead heat was nowhere to be found on the front page of the tabloid that has been on the warpath over her Cherokee roots or alleged lack thereof. A lengthy search of bostonherald.com failed to turn up any word either at this early hour.

Small wonder. While three-quarter of the respondents said they were aware of the Herald-generated controversy, 69 percent said it was an insignificant story and for what ever it's worth, half believe her claims.

More significant is the number of undecided voters in this race is infinitesimal, with another 5 1/2 months to go before voters finally get their say. Warren closed 9-point gap in what had been an outlier Suffolk poll.

Brown and the Herald have been throwing the kitchen sink at Warren -- whether it is Native-American roots or elitist professor. It has resulted in a slight increase in her unfavorable ratings, offset by a slightly larger jump among those who view her positively.

Maybe that's why Brown is now on the air with campaign commercials looking to burnish his own good guy image.

Warren's biggest challenge -- short of dodging the kitchen sink -- appears to be getting voters to focus on the sharp contrast between Brown's close ties to Wall Street and her status as persona non grata in the financial community. The poll found only a third of voters believe a vote for Brown is a vote for Wall Street, compared to 55 percent who did not.

And it should come as no surprise that Brown won't be riding Mitt Romney's coattails. The former governor is heading for a bruising here, trailing Barack Obama by a 59-34 percent margin.

You would hope that snuffing this latest manufactured controversy would signal a start of a real campaign based on real issues, such as Brown and his work for Wall Street interests over those of consumers.

You might also hope for the Red Sox winning the World Series this year. Anything is possible, but reality suggests otherwise.

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